Monday, December 12, 2011

The Name of the Star Review

Even though this isn't technically strictly a book blog anymore, I thought I'd review a book I read that was simply fantastic.

This book was so good! I simply adored it. Having read Maureen Johnson before, I knew that this book would be well-written, but I was still a bit wary because it was a 'paranormal book' and I am usually not a fan of paranormal books. However, this one was simply fantastic! Rory is a Southern girl who has the opportunity to go to boarding school in East End. As she arrives, a copycat Jack the Ripper murder occurs with all of London catching Rippermania. Just like with the original murders in 1888, there is little evidence and few suspects After a near death experience, Rory can see ghosts, including the murderer.

Okay, so it may sound like your typical hookey paranormal book, but I promise you it is not. It has Maureen Johnson's humor, and is packed with fascinating plot. One of the traits of a great author is the ability to write in multiple genres and write them well and Maureen Johnson does that. Definitely an auto-recommend.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Goal 1: Read More

It's important to set goals or "dreams". But these are called goals because they are small achievable things that will add up to living the dream. What the dream is I'm not sure. It's not the American Dream. The American Dream died in the Jazz Age. I learned that in The Great Gatsby. 

I kid. But yeah, I have goals. I'm going to post them one at time because I get into detail about them.

Goal 1: Read More
Since starting college, I've been busy with life and school, and when I am not doing school, I am relaxing with the internet. And Netflix. Especially when they put How I Met Your Mother on Netflix. That will be the end of my college career.

But in order to read 50 books this year, I need to read 6 more this month. Thankfully, I have them picked out.

  • These Three Remain by Pamela Aidan
  • Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling
  • The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
  • away Laughing on A Fast Camel by Louisa Rennison
  • Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
  • Only the Good Spy Young by Ally Carter

Mind you, this list could change. Except the first three. I'm already reading the first two, and I've been so excited to read Maureen Johnson's new book for quite some time. Plus, I'm an English Ed major. I always need to read more.

Tomorrow I'll post about my second goal. Stay Beautiful!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

November Favorites

I love this time of year. Holidays, anniversary with the boyfriend, just starting to get cold, but it's not frozen. It's just awesome. I felt like I hadn't really done a post in awhile, so I thought I'd do a November Favorites post of the stuff I like in November.

I did not read much in November but I did read Geek Girls Unite by Leslie Simon. And it was really interesting. Helped me to embrace my inner geek. And I have several inner geeks. Probably why I spend most of my time on the computer. I'm currently reading Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling. It's pretty funny, but I've been busy with school.

As far as tv goes, I've definitely obsessed with How I Met Your Mother, especially since they put it on Netflix last week. Like, I literally watch it as I do other things. Like my speech which I failed. And studying. And now. Earlier this month, I was watching Gossip Girl which I also enjoyed despite not reading the books.

I tried to do NaNoWriMo this year, but that was an epic fail in case you hadn't guessed I just got busy and it turned out i'm not a good fairy tale writer. I'm much more inclined to write contemporary, if I ever have a not cliche idea. Being creative is hard.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Guys, I am so ready for National Novel Writing Month, it's ridiculous. Today I wrote back story. BACK STORY. Stuff that happened before my story began. And by using these characters in another environment, I can see that Amira (my MC) could be giving me some trouble in the next month, barging in where she's not supposed to go and everything.

But seriously. I have my main plot outlined. The first seven chapters have very detailed outlines. i know where everyone is going and when they are going there. I know my characters lives. For example, Amira is an only child. Peter is the oldest of four and is more like his uncle than his father. Finn has an older brother who his parents praise as perfect. Finn and Peter are friends due to their dislike of snobbery.  Amira and peter have been friends for as long as they can remember which is why Amira knows that Eva isn't right for Peter. Finn also knows this, but he also knows other things about Eva because they are cousins. Abbott wrestles with guilt over his daughter every day. When the truth comes out, it is more of a relief to him than his wife. The kingdom is on the brink of ruin and revolution if the prince doesn't get his act together quick. Romance blooms and romance dies. I'm excited to start. i'm trying not to start in advance.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

My Banned Books Week Post

Apparently, because I like books I am obligated to make a Banned Books Week post. So here is goes.

I really, really don't care. I'm not pro banning books, but I fail to see why we need to make a big deal about it. I could understand banned books day, but a week is just a little excessive. Plus, all these books get famous for being banned, not for having high quality material. Like Twilight. Really guys? We're going to promote Twilight as banned book? As if everyone hasn't already read it. Most of the banned books are read in school for English class, hence the reason they rushed into the limelight to be banned. I'm looking at you, The Sun Also Rises, To Kill A Mockingbird, The Catcher and the Rye, The Great Gatsby, 1984, The Color Purple, The Lord of the Flies, Animal Farm, just to a few. Some have sex in them. Some have violence in them. Some have sex and violence in them. It's pretty much the same with television.

Also, they sometimes ban books so that you will actually read them. Funny story, they banned Silas Marner  so that the teens would actually read it. And guess what? They did.

Reading a banned book does not make you cool or rebellious. Especially since it probably isn't banned in your area. Are you doing something against the law? No. Reading makes you cool, kids. No matter what you are reading.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Knightley Academy Review

I'll admit, I was a little concerned when I chose to read this book next. It sounded a lot like Harry Potter to me, which admittedly it was, but I was concerned that it would be too similar and that I wouldn't be able to finish it. And then I'd feel bad because I've watched the authors youtube videos and think she's awesome, but I wouldn't like her book.

This thought was disproved about twenty pages into the book.

I want gush on and on about how much I adored this book. I think it's simply brilliant. And while yes, I can draw comparisons from Harry Potter to this, this does not keep me from being excited to read the next one by any means.

Knightley Academy by Violet Haberdasher (a pseudonym, by the way) is a book about a school for knights, fittingly enough called Knightley Academy. But that's not where our story begins. Our story begins at the Midsummer School and with a servant boy named Henry.

Now Henry, despite his lowly position, has been treated to a gentlemen's education by a professor at the school named Professor Stratford. Professor Stratford convinces Henry to take the entrance exam to Knightley by showing him a loophole in the rules. He agrees and to the surprise of no one but him and the other boys in the story, Henry makes it into Knightley Academy. Naturally, he and hi new friends get into all kinds of adventures.

Now one aspect of this book that is touched upon is that it is not contemporary nor is it hisorical fiction. But it is steam-punk, which to me is a rather silly word. Basically, it takes place in Victorian Era (true, but not an England any of us would recognize) and has a twist (their country is not called England but it's like an alternate universe). Maybe I don't have a strong conception on what steampunk is (genres are not my strong point) but this fits the classification to me.

Definitely check it out!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Scarlett Fever Review

As a general rule, I dislike reviewing books that are sequels or as in this case, the second book of a series. I feel that if you read the first book in a series, you'll base your opinion of whether to read the second book on whether you liked the first book or not, not on what I think.

However, I feel the need to review Scarlett Fever by Maureen Johnson.

Having read all of Maureen Johnson's previous books I did have some expectations when beginning to read this book.

a. That the whole Martin family would be back for more fun adventures.

b. That it would be something I"d enjoy reading.

c. That it would be hilarious in general.

I can safely say that all of these expectations were fulfilled. When we last left Scarlett, she and Eric had broken things off, leaving her heartbroken and her brother Spencer had successfully saved his career. After many more failed auditions, he is happy to finally land a job on popular television show called Crime and Punishment.

I feel that the main plot rarely focuses on Scarlett herself. It's more of a book of things that are happening around her that she can't control and her reactions to them. Which at first sounds silly, but it makes sense. She's fifteen; there isn't much you can control at fifteen. Despite never wanting to be an actress, she seems to be surrounded by actors and actresses, professionally or otherwise.

All of your favorite characters are back. Scarlett's brother Spencer, the aspirign actor, Marlene the cancer survivor, Lola the hardworking one, and Mrs. Amerson, Scarlett's crazy boss. But we are also joined with a new cast of characters. Chelsea, an aspiring actress who just moved to the city, her pageant mom Mrs. Biggs, her rebellious brother Max, and Dakota Scarlett's best friend.

I enjoy Maureen Johnson's book immensely. My one complaint is that this book ends rather suddenly in my opinion. It just sort of stops. There's a bit of a cliffhanger and a bit of resolution, but overall the ending felt rather sudden for me. I do hope that the third book in this series comes out next year, for I am excited to see how it ends with Scarlett.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Library Book Haul

Today I went to not one, but two libraries. I was only going to pick up my holds, not really allowing for hardcore perusal time, but I was able to grab a couple interesting finds.

First book I picked up was Gone by Michael Grant. Now I don't know about you, readers, but I have heard a lot about this book. It definitely looks interesting.

Next, I picked up Forever in Blue: the Fourth Summer of the Sisterhood by Ann Brashares. I read the first three in this series ages ago, and I would like to complete the series.

From a different library I picked up four books, two of which were holds. the first was The Secret of Shadow Ranch by Carolyn Keene. It's probably typical Nancy Drew book, but I'm excited to read it. I like children's literature.

My next hold is nonfiction. It's called Reading Harry Potter Again edited by Giselle Liza Anatol. It's a bunch of essays about reading the Harry Potter series critically. Apparently, there's a first one that was released right before the fifth book, so I might pick that one up too if this one proves interesting.

A book I picked up, rather at random, is The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong. I've heard some about this book, and have been a little intrigued by it. And it was just kinda sitting on the shelf so I said to myself, "Why not?"

The last book I picked up is Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys. It's a historical fiction novel, another one that I've heard a bit about. It looks like your average Holocaust related fiction to me, but I figured I'd give it a whirl.

Still reading Duty and Desire by Pamela Aidan. It's excellent so far. I'm also reading The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman, which is another interesting read.

Keep reading!

Monday, July 18, 2011

What am I Reading? #2

Well, it is Monday.

Right now I'm going through a few series. I'm reading The Thursday Next series and the Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman trilogy. The book I'm currently reading and have a bookmark in is Duty and Desire of the Fitzwilliam Darcy series. I'm on the final book of The Thursday Next series, which is The Well of Lost Plots. I'll probably read that next then review the series as a whole.

I'm also working my way through the first ten books of the Nancy Drew series, which was inspired by HerInteractive's Nancy Drew video games. Right now, I'm on The Bungalow Mystery. The books are all written in a similar format and basically have the same ending (Spoiler: Nancy solves the case. Every time.) But, the books are cute and they are very relaxing for summer.

Friday, May 13, 2011

A Quick Update

Hello readers! I realize I haven't written anything in awhile, but I've read a lot recently. Unfortunately, I don't have any real reviews. So I'm just going to give you a quick list of what I've read so far this year with dates because that's how I put them on Word. I might be reviewing a couple of these in the near future, especially the more recent books I've read. That is, if I can get my thoughts together.

1. The Heroes of Olympus Book One: The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan 01-04

2. Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter 01-05

3. Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd edited by Holly Black and Cecil Castelluci 01-06

4. Ophelia by Lisa Klein 01-12

5. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff… and it’s all the small stuff by Richard Carlson, phd 01-13

6. Knocked Out By My Nunga-Nungas: The Further, Further Confessions of Georgia Nicolson by Louise Rennison 01-14

7. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle 01-15

8. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins 01-24

9. The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins 01-28

10. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen 02-12

11. The Philadelphia Story by Philip Barry 02-12

12. Deerskin by Robin McKinley 02-19

13. A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L’Engle 02-19

14. A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeleine L’Engle 02-21

15. Many Waters by Madeleine l’Engle 02-24

16. Persuasion by Jane Austen 02-25

17. The Darcys Give a Ball by Elizabeth Newark 02-26

18. Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast by Robin McKinley 03-01

19. Jane Eyre by Charolette Bronte (April)

20. The Bell at Sealey Head by Patricia McKillip (April)

21. Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris (April)

22. The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson (May 07)

23. The Cupcake Queen by Heather Hepler (May 08)

24. Jane by April Lindner ( May 12)

25. The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams (May 13)

Monday, April 11, 2011

What am I Reading?

Thought I'd write a quick post about what I'm reading while I'm procrastinating my English homework.

I just finished The Bell at Sealey Head by Patricia McKillip, which was excellent and I'll be reviewing that soon.

I'm unsure as to what to read next. I want to check out The Maze Runner to see what all the hype is about, because apparently it's "The next Hunger Games". Nothing is the next Hunger Games. Not even Catching Fire. On the other hand I've got Do Hard Things and Mere Christianity that I'd like to continue, plus the books I bought at Barnes and Noble last Saturday.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Jane Eyre Book Review

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte is simply a classic, but I know I'm not the first person to say that. Yes, it is long. Yes, it is mostly geared toward women of the early Victorian Era. But, it is well worth the read.
Jane is an orphan and her life sucks. She lives with relatives who hate her. She is sent to an institution to become a governess. Her only friend at the school dies. Life sucks. But once she becomes a governess, she is employed. Then stuff starts happening. Mr. Rochester and Jane exchange clever dialog. And she embarks on a adventure of love and mystery.

That's all I can give away without spoiling the story. There are several adaptations available including a BBC miniseries on the novel and movie that is already available/will be available April 8th. I plan to see the movie and write a review as well.

Overall, I would say this is an excellent book worth reading. Yes, it is a classic and most people who see a classic run screaming, "AH CLASSIC! I AM NOT SMART ENOUGH TO READ THIS/ NOT STUCK UP!" One does not have to be smart or stuck up to read a classic. One just simply has to be willing to learn.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Jane Eyre Quote

"Worn out with this torture of thought, I rose to my knees. Night was come, and her planets were risen: a safe, still night; to secure for the companionship of fear. We know that God is everywhere; but certainly we feel His presence most when His works are on the grandest scale spread before us: and it is the unclouded night sky, where His infinitude, His omnipotence, His omnipresence. I had risen to my knees to pray for Mr. Rochester. Looking up, I, with tear-dimmed eyes, saw the mighty Milky Way. Remembering what it was- what countless systems there swept space like a soft trace of light- I felt the might and strength of God. Sure was I of His efficiency to save what He had made: convinced I grew that neither earth should perish, nor one of the souls it treasured, I turn my prayer to thanksgiving; the Source of Life was also the Savior of spirits. Mr. Rochester was safe: he was God's and by God would he be guarded. I again nestled to the breast of the hill; and ere long, in sleep, forgot sorrow."

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast review

Beauty is an excellent retelling of Beauty and the Beast, though most of my knowledge of it comes from the Disney movie. The story is familiar to most people, which leads to the author's interpretation of the story, which is what makes this book interesting. Thankfully, Robin doesn't do anything too radical. Otherwise, there might have been an outcry.

One thing that makes this book different from the story is we get to see Beauty's life, and while Beauty's life does consume the book somewhat. This is not in a bad way, just with a lot of back story into her life and just exactly why she goes to the castle. However, because of this the story is a bit slow. This is no doubt due to the fact most readers know the story and know how it ends, so there is no real need for a fast-paced plot. Even though it was not really action-packed, it is still a short read.

All of the books characters are believable, and all of them are lovable. Even though Beauty describes her sisters beautiful and herself as plain, there isn't any real animosity between them. There is no evil stepmother or stepsister, or brother-in-law.

Personally, I enjoyed this book. I love McKinley's writing style. This is one of her earlier works, but in the young adult section probably because Beauty is a teenager. However, I think children and adults can both enjoy this book. Interestingly enough, I found this book on a list of books that college-bound students should read. I would be inclined to agree, but McKinley has numerous other works as well that are worth reading. I'd recommend it to people who enjoy fairytales and really just most people in general.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Darcys Give a Ball by Elizabeth Newark Review

My first review!

This book is a spin-off Jane Austen's novel, Pride and Prejudice. For those of you who haven't read P&P, you should go put it on hold at your local library and read it. It's excellent.

This book takes place well after the events of Jane Austen's novel. Elizabeth and Darcy have had children and they have entered into society as have Jane and Bingley's children, Charolette and Mr. Collins' children, and every other characters children. It also references other works by Jane Austen. The Darcys decided to give a ball for all the children to enjoy. Betrothals and dancing ensues.

This book probably won't be on any list of great literature, though Austen spin off is? It's a quick read and is cute. There's less a focus on Darcy and Elizabeth and more focus on their children and the other children. Charolette does get quite a bit of attention, though. The plot mostly consists of the ball, characters are fairly static, but they're cute. Overall, if you're looking for something with depth, go reread Jane Austen. But if you're looking for something cute and light to read with a happy ending, then look no further.

This Blog is going to take an entirely different direction...

To books. I've deleted all the previous posts. I may regret that later.

I love books. Let's start!

Currently reading:
Beauty By Robin McKinley
This is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Good so far.

Jane Eyre by Charolette Bronte
Reading this for two reasons: the movie is coming out in the spring and I love reading classic literature.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Reading it on my laptop. I had to read it before junior year and could not get through. I'm giving Huck a second chance.